As you may have read on OSHA.gov, OSHA re-launched its fall protection training campaign last April, in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR). The collaborative effort aims to strengthen awareness among workers and employers in the interest of fall protection training and fall prevention.
OSHA draws inspiration from last year’s fall protection campaign titled “Safety Pays and Falls Cost,” with renewed focus on safety tips and measures. With the new slogan, “Plan. Provide. Train.”, the 2013 campaign emphasizes observing these three simple steps in fall prevention:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely: Employers should plan projects beforehand. They should take job assignments, tasks, and required safety equipment and hazard recognition, abatement and prevention into consideration.
PROVIDE the right equipment: Employers are responsible for providing workers safety gear or PFAS (Personal Fall arrest Systems), ladders, scaffolds, additional fall protection equipment such as safety nets, guardrails, and handrails. Employers should inspect and make sure that the equipment is in good working condition and used appropriately.
TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely: Workers should have a strong background on the set-up and proper use of equipment prior to entering the job site. Employers should train employees in hazard recognition, and the proper use of ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems and necessary equipment.
“It is vitally important for employers to provide the right equipment and properly train their workers in a language they understand so they can do their jobs safely,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels, in a joint NIOSH, OSHA and CPWR and press statement.
“Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved by planning ahead to get the job done safely, providing the right equipment and training workers to use the equipment safely,” he said.
On average, two construction workers die every day in the United States, based on data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of fatal injuries in construction accounts for majority of workplace fatalities in America, posting the second highest across US industries. Construction falls account for 35% of deaths among private construction workers, making falls the leading cause of death in the industry.
OSHA has released educational materials and training resources on its website for the benefit of workers and employers. These materials include fact sheets available in a variety of languages, and a ladder safety booklet available in English and Spanish that was developed by OSHA in partnership with the Singapore Workplace Safety and Health Council and Ministry of Manpower. A smartphone-readable version of the campaign webpage will also become available.
Those who wish to help out with the campaign, especially in distributing information sheets and flyers can ask for printed campaign materials from the office of OSHA director of communications Frank Meilinger. You may contact Meilinger via phone at 202-693-1999 or via email at [email protected].
Other reference materials such as videos, news releases, success stories and videos are available on the NIOSH website (http://www.stopconstructionfalls.com); CPWR website (www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/stopfalls.html); and OSHA website (http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html).
Safety standards for fall protection are covered in Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1926, Subpart M (general fall protection); 29 CFR 1926, Subpart X (standards for the use of ladders); 29 CFR 1926, Subpart L (standards for the use of scaffolds).